Opening the floodgates of generic email blasts can create quite the dry spell for any business. That’s because we’ve said goodbye to the era of one-and-done newsletters and impersonalized content. Instead, marketers are embracing the effective and steady drip, drip, drip of relevant, personalized, educational content. Drip marketing campaigns, or marketing automation, offer a strategic, smart, and subtle approach to guiding prospects through the process of becoming future clients. So what exactly is a drip marketing campaign and how can you create one of your own? We answer your questions below, and offer insight into four key elements for successful marketing automation.
What Is Drip Marketing?
Drip marketing is a set of pre-prepared emails that are sent automatically by certain triggers, actions, or timelines determined by the sender. They create a nurturing environment for possible clients and keep current clients engaged with your services. This is done by having relevant or educational pieces of content automatically sent out to email subscribers.
For example, if someone just subscribed to your business’s newsletter, an automatic welcome email would be sent as part of your drip campaign strategy. Depending on whether or not the email received any engagement would determine your next plan of action. If the user clicked through to your site, a second automatic email could be sent to offer a more in-depth look at your products and financial services.
To break it down further, consider where drip marketing got its name. In farming, “drip irrigation,” refers to the technique of adding water to plants slowly over time. The small, yet persistent addition of water creates a nurturing environment that doesn’t overwhelm or drown the plant. The same concept goes for drip marketing, which is why we have irrigation to thank for the name of this effective marketing tactic. Who knew farming and marketing would have so much in common?
Types of Drip Emails
When it comes to creating an effective drip marketing campaign for your financial services, there are a few common types of automated emails you may want to consider using.
Just as it sounds, welcome emails are designed to greet new email subscribers and provide important information about your company and services. Acting as an intro into what you have to offer, welcome emails are such a vital part of the subscription process that users have actually come to expect them. Neglecting to send one could make your company come across as uncaring, unorganized, or less interested in those who may not yet be clients – which, of course, isn’t true!
Onboarding refers to the idea of getting subscribers to partake in some sort of small “sell.” This could include getting readers to sign-ups for a future webinar, follow your business on social media, or upgrade to a premium service.
Recommendation emails are made once you’ve become more familiar with your client. For example, after determining whether the user is an advisor or individual investor, you can send emails that recommend certain services, and suggest blog posts that will best pertain to them. Or, once a client has purchased a certain service, you can create recommendations of additional packages or upgrades they may benefit from based on their previous buying habits.
More engagement with your site means a higher likelihood that user will become a client. So wouldn’t it make sense to use drip marketing to boost engagement as well? Use this content to encourage and invite users to visit certain, relevant pages on your site. Create a CTA (call to action) in this email based on the user’s previous sessions, or even lack thereof, on your site.
Successful Elements of a Drip Marketing Campaign
With the basics under control, it’s time to implement strategies to create a highly effective drip marketing campaign for your financial firm.
1. Offer the Right Info at the Right Time
Aside from personalization, relevancy is one of the most important aspects of a successful email marketing campaign. That’s because the end user is far less likely to find your emails “spammy” if the content actually pertains to them or is found useful in some way.
To ensure you’re offering the right info at the right time, an email being sent must be based off of some sort of action the user has taken on your site or specific knowledge you’ve received about your user’s demographic.
Actions could include hovering or revisiting a premium services page, subscribing to blog updates, or scheduling a call online. Each of these actions initiates a different type of email – an informative message about the benefits of your premium services, a welcome email outlining who you are and what services you offer, or a confirmation message thanking the client while offering insight into what they should do to prepare for their appointment.
It is imperative that your automated email matches your triggering parameters. This is paramount to your marketing campaign because these emails are used to automatically nurture and engage with potential clients, not spam them with irrelevant information. That means you do not want to send an email about the benefits of upgrading to your premium service to clients who are already taking advantage of those services. Not only will it leave readers scratching their heads, but it can make your business look unorganized or uninformed –two things no one wants when it comes to their financial advisor.
2. Make Your Emails as Personal as Possible
The whole purpose of a drip campaign, as we’ve said time and time again, is to foster engagement and nurture leads. Emails that are targeted towards the end user have been proven to see higher click rates. Translation: If you want to create a meaningful interaction with readers, you must make your automated message seem as personal as possible.
Sounds tough, right? But with the right wording and cues, you can take the generic tone out of your automated emails to create a meaningful connection. That’s important because bringing a personal touch to your emails can create a positive response from the reader. Including the user’s name, asking them how they are doing, celebrating an anniversary, or commenting on relevant events/places in their geographic region are all effective ways to easily add a personal touch to automated emails.
Take the extra time needed to create content that appears personal and makes the reader think it was written just for them. This is such a crucial element of any successful drip campaign because creating a meaningful connection is the first step in relationship building.
3. Create a Strategic and Thoughtful Plan of Attack
Let’s be real. Getting too many emails from any company – or anyone, for that matter – is annoying. Yes, the whole point of a drip marketing campaign is to offer slow yet steady content. But when your drips turn into downpours, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy. Your content is meant to remind, encourage, and educate not annoy, pester, and badger.
Create a cohesive, educational set of emails with a definitive start (welcome) and finish (thank you for selecting our services). Emails in between should clearly and efficiently educate the end user on who you are as a company and what financial services you offer. Give the reader the important information they should know in bite-sized bits. Information that is easily digestible yet informative and helpful is the key to future engagement and higher CTRs.
When creating content for your emails, ask yourself
- What do I want the reader to know?
- What do I want the reader to do?
- How can I get engagement from this user?
Based on your answers to the questions above, create driven, good-looking content that clearly iterates your message or guides the user to take certain actions.
One of the most effective ways to produce a well-thought out strategy is to create a flow-chart outlining possible scenarios of user engagement with your website and emails. Use this chart to decide your next move after an ignored welcome email or a newly scheduled appointment. Creating such a chart can allow you to physically see your strategy in action and discover any potential holes or problems.
4. Reevaluate and Readjust Your Campaign
Just like anything else, you must learn from your mistakes. It’s true that once you’ve developed your strategy, emails are sent automatically. But that doesn’t mean you can set it and forget it. Continuously evaluate your CTRs and other user engagement parameters to determine how effective your drip campaign is.
Never be afraid to head back to the drawing board and rethink your strategy if you’re finding less-than-ideal results. Get feedback from clients when possible, and continuously re-adjust your content, timing, and frequency to find the sweet spot for your target audience.
Create a Successful Drip Marketing Campaign
Drips are small but steady. While one drop may mean nothing, a steady stream can lead you to a successful campaign. Use this automated marketing strategy to bring newcomers up to speed on your services, share your most popular pieces of content, or remind clients of upcoming appointments.